BEDMINSTER, NJ — Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who enjoyed huge popularity in his post-game days through his work as an analyst for TNT and a corporate pitcher, did not yet received a formal offer to join LIV Golf in a show role, he said Thursday.
“I can’t keep TNT in limbo. It’s not fair,” Barkley told ESPN before his appearance in a pro-am event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, the site of the third LIV Tour event.
“Not only are they [TNT] concerned, my sponsors are concerned. I heard of Subway, Capital One, Dick’s Sporting Goods. At some point, I’m going to have to make a decision, plain and simple.”
Right now, it looks like Barkley doesn’t have a decision to make. He said on Thursday that despite meeting with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and being receptive to an offer to work for LIV Golf as part of its broadcast team, no offer has yet been forthcoming. done.
“They didn’t offer me a contract. They asked me if I was interested and I said yes,” Barkley said. “I met Greg and said yes. I’m in a win-win situation. If they offer me something good, that’s great. If they don’t, I have a great job at TNT.”
Former President Donald Trump was also attending Thursday’s pro-am at his golf course in northern New Jersey.
The golf course’s proximity to the site of the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001 drew strong criticism from family members of September 11 victims, who held a press conference earlier this week and plan to organize another one. Friday.
“This event comes after members of 9/11 Justice sent a letter to former President Trump earlier this month expressing the extreme pain, frustration and anger they feel at his decision. to host the Saudi-sponsored league at its New Jersey club in the shadow of Ground Zero,” the organization said in a statement earlier this week.
“I have sympathy for the 9/11 families,” Barkley told ESPN. “This is probably the worst day in the history of our country.”
Trump told ESPN on Thursday, “Nobody got to the bottom of the events of 9/11, unfortunately, and they should have.”
A spokesperson for the 9/11 Justice group said newly declassified FBI documents further prove Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks, something the Saudi government has consistently denied.
“I’ve known these people for a long time,” Trump said of the LIV Tour’s Saudi backers. “They’ve been friends of mine for a long time. They’ve invested in a lot of American companies. They own big percentages in a lot of American companies, and frankly what they do for golf is so great. What they do what I do for the players, it’s so good. The salaries will skyrocket.
Barkley said he doesn’t understand why people are angry at golfers and why more outrage hasn’t been directed at companies that, like LIV Golf, receive financial support from the United States Public Investment Fund. ‘Saudi Arabia.
“Everyone makes up words, like sports washing and dirty money. I’m like, look, if you play sports, we all take money from some sources that you might not like or don’t enjoy,” Barkley said. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite. These guys [LIV golfers] are trying to make a living. I only wish them the best. Same thing with my PGA Tour friends. But everyone is kind of like trying to play the moral card.
“For some reason, everyone wants to cause selective outrage,” Barkley said. “I will never let that happen to my watch.”
LIV Golf on Wednesday announced plans to expand in 2023 to 14 events, with 48 golfers competing for an unprecedented $405 million purse. LIV Golf will also host additional tournaments in 2023 as part of its LIV Golf International Series, which was launched this year with a $300 million investment in the Asian Tour.
“The PGA was not liked by a lot of players, as you know, for a long time,” Trump told ESPN. “Now they have an alternative. And no one would have ever known there would be a gold rush like this.”